Renogy Solar Generator Review

Searching around for a solar generator will produce results varying from simple battery storage units to large home sized solar arrays.  The Renogy Phoenix splits the difference and offers you the convenience of portability paired with the ability to generate power without external parts.

Features of the Renogy Phoenix Portable Generator All-in-one Solar Kit

So many products out there claiming to fit into the “solar generator” niche while many of them are simply battery storage.  This all in one solar kit is the exception.  The Renogy Phoenix has built in solar panels that generate power and recharge the battery.  This alone is enough to warrant a closer look.

Lightweight and compact briefcase style build makes this small unit easy to carry and deploy whenever and wherever you need it.  All in one design means no external parts required for standalone operation.

The two PV ports allow for the option of adding external solar panels to expand the efficiency and speed that the unit generates power.  The built in charge controller will run the additional feeds meaning you only need to purchase the new panels and nothing else.  Stand-alone or expanded array, this unit comes with options.

Separate AC and DC feed power switches allowing you to turn off the power to one or the other if you’re not currently using them.  With battery capacity and solar charging at its tedious limits, being able to turn off the unused feed to conserve power can make a difference.

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Pros and Cons of the Renogy Phoenix Portable Generator All-in-one Solar Kit

Every product on the market was designed and built to fulfill a need.  The Renogy Phoenix fills a hole in the field of portable power stations by incorporating the ability to recharge its on battery.  This comes with benefits and drawbacks, we’ve listed a few of them here.

Pros

  • The Renogy Phoenix has the solar panels built into the unit making it a true solar generator. Power distribution and power production in one standalone unit with no external parts is a large reason to purchase this unit.
  • Compact suitcase design makes the unit easy to operate and safe to store away when not in use. Lightweight and easily carried, this unit blends in with your standard electronics.
  • Two expansion ports allow for additional solar arrays to be added to the matrix to increase charging power and decrease charging time.
  • The built in solar panels are mono-crystal solar cells which have a higher efficiency than the cheaper poly-crystal alternatives.

Cons

  • Features can become a bug when they go wrong and unfortunately, the awesome built in solar panels are not detachable. When the inverter goes bad, or the solar cells diminish in capacity, the entire unit is “bad” as a whole.
  • Charging temperatures are rated to 113°, but setting a black box in the direct sun to catch solar energy can easily reach over the threshold.

Our Verdict

The Renogy Phoenix is a great product that incorporates battery storage and solar generation into one unit.  However, a solar panel box that needs to be kept in the shade is less than useless.  If you will be charging in extreme heat locations, purchase and use of the external solar arrays becomes a necessity rather than an option.  Still, this gets a vote of approval for compact and standalone design.

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